A top adviser to President Lee Teng-hui has expressed confidence that quasi-official exchanges in agriculture and technology with the mainland will be boosted after Mr Lee's expected re-election on Saturday. Tsiang Yien-si, a senior adviser in the presidential office, said yesterday talks on co-operation in agriculture had gone on at a semi-official as well as people-to-people level in spite of the tension in the Taiwan Strait. Mr Tsiang, who is also the chairman of Mr Lee's national campaign for re-election, said he hoped there would be dramatic progress in co-operation after the expected re-election. He quoted the President as saying that if he were to meet Chinese President Jiang Zemin one day, they would talk about agriculture. Mr Tsiang said agriculture was the one area which Mr Lee, who holds a doctorate in the subject, said he would be able to give China personal advice. The former secretary-general of the presidential office last year set up a Rural Development Foundation with the help of contributions from enterprises. The foundation has so far collected 'a few hundred million Taiwanese dollars', he said. In spite of the level of tension with China, Mr Tsiang indicated experts in this field had continued to exchange visits. 'We can offer the mainland technological help in areas including production and marketing,' he said. 'We are specially interested in poor regions in central and western China.' Mr Tsiang said in spite of the attacks on Taipei in the mainland media, experts from Taiwan got on well with mainland counterparts. 'Because of the question of face on the part of the mainland, we use the word co-operation, not extending help to them,' he said. Mr Tsiang hinted he would consider paying a visit to the mainland in a personal capacity. However, he denied he was one of the 'secret emissaries' Mr Lee had reportedly despatched to Beijing to try to resolve on-going difficulties in relations. Meanwhile, deputy director-general of the Government Information Office Charles Wu said yesterday he hoped the mainland would take a more pro-active approach in cultural exchanges with Taiwan. Mr Wu said from mid-1995, Beijing had put a stop to many visits to Taiwan by mainland journalists, artists and film-makers. 'The ball is in the court of the mainland,' he said. 'I hope the situation will improve after the presidential election.' Mr Wu disclosed that much of the budget the information office had set aside for cultural exchanges in 1996 had not been used because of the chill. No official news media has sent journalists to cover the Taiwan elections, he said.